The farm to fork philosophy shined at this years Dig-IN event, held at White River State Park last weekend. I had been gone for a conference; coming back just in time for this event was a priority of the weekend. This was my second year in a row attending (2 for 2) and there were definitely some changes that happened.
I loved the mixing of beer/wine within the food. I didn’t really like the tastings of a brewery/winery being in one area while the actual beverage purchasing was in another – didn’t seem like the best use of space. I loved the new restaurants, but I did notice that a few were not present once again. Overall, it was a great event. Hubs and I happily nibbled our way through the tents with friends. Here are some of the food details:
Keltie’s (Westfield): Bread Pudding
Hands down my favorite of the day. I wasn’t expecting this either – a dessert to win out of all the nibbles – but it was really great. Perfectly sweet and full of cinnamon flavor, I loved every bite of the moist dessert. Whipped cream on top was creamy and the perfect accompaniment. And a note to all those who may be participating in Northside Nights this week – Keltie’s is one of the restaurant featured. And yes, their bread pudding is a dessert option (as are their beggar’s purses – oh so good!)
Joseph Decuis (Roanoke): Wagyu Slider
Last year, I couldn’t get enough of the wagyu beef Joseph Decuis’ restaurant was serving. It was one of my favorite then (along with Chef Steven Unrue, formerly of Tastings but currently serving with the crew at Chef JJ’s – he had the best entree with his tamale), so I was looking forward to another great bite this year. There was no disappointment – an extremely tender burger with a slightly spicy pepper onion relish on top. A creamy slice of havariti completed this sandwich. It was an upscale slider, with a hint of the steamed onion flavor so many people crave. Delicious. I must get to this restaurant asap – I hear it is quite an experience.
R Bistro (Indianapolis): Brined turkey and vegetable salad
With the excellent, there has to be some disappointment. I had higher expectations from R Bistro (though I have only dined there for an event, not really a meal) and this was my least favorite of the day. It was essentially a turkey coleslaw with no seasoning. Jalapenos, radishes, cheese – it was just messy to me. It struggled to even enjoy what I knew were fresh ingredients. My lease favorite from all the tastings.
Here are a few more photos/recaps –
Chef JJ’s Back Yard – they unveiled the Big Green Bistro. Isn’t that an amazing vehicle? And you know there is good food inside. This time around, a deconstructed sandwich of some sorts. Bison, smoked perfectly (wouldn’t expect anything less from Chef JJ’s) was the star of the dish. Though I have to say, those pickles were mighty tasty.
Goose the Market’s smoked turkey and ginger sausage, blueberry, mostarda, root vegetable kraut (though great in flavor, very difficult to eat. The casing was so thick that you had to essentially squeeze out the filling – it was just too hard to bite through); Just Rennie’s Cookie Co. (these cookies were a great way to end the tasting! One was chocolate chip, the other was chocolate/peanut butter and the last was orange/cranberry); Restaurant Tallent’s pork tacos (my third favorite, they had a build your own fixin’s type of bar – perfect level of spice in the pork with all the cooling features in the slaw) and Served Cafe & Bistro’s Bees Knees (the French toast was a little dry for me, but I enjoyed the combination of the strawberries and honey cured pork).
Though I have no photo, I do also have to mention Burton’s Maplewood Farm‘s maple syrup. Oh gosh, delicious. It makes me want to go to the maple festival in March…just sayin’…
It was another great event. Thank you to all the chefs, brewers, wine makers and staff who made this event possible. And of course, the weather was perfect, so it made it that much more enjoyable!